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The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1511 words - 6 pages

F. Scott Fitzgerald lived during a pivotal time during America, when the American Dream, once standing for freedom, quickly started changing into more materialistic and power driven desires. Because of this, major themes in many of his novels centralize around the shortcomings and triumphs of life in these newly changed times. F. Scott Fitzgerald's personal desires for love and wealth and the struggles associated with trying to achieve them come to life through his characters creating a resemblance between Fitzgerald's personal life and the characters he creates.
Fitzgerald's early life proved far from difficult because of him growing up and becoming accustomed with the idea of wealth in one's life, which lead him to believe that his life should be "blessed with wealth and his life graced with ease" (Oxford). This had a profound effect on his life as he often viewed himself "more or less valuable as a direct result of having or not having money" (Wood). His early fascination with wealth provided the perfect foundation for him to incorporate the idealism of wealth into his novels. In addition to his early life, Fitzgerald became accustomed to wealth during the 1920's, a period of rapid change and conspicuous consumption. Because of this, he witnessed both the waste and glamour in 1920's society (Bruccoli). He illustrates this in his novel This Side of Paradise as Amory Blaine states that he "is sick of a system where the richest man gets the most beautiful girl if he wants her" (Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise 322). Amory expresses his disapproval of letting wealth dictate one's decisions, which Fitzgerald often experienced first-hand living through the 1920's. Although Fitzgerald grew up with wealth in the early stages of life, he emerged not as lucky during his later years. Even though he earned as much as thirty six thousand dollars in one year, a considerable amount during his time, his lavish lifestyle led him to become near bankrupt (Oxford). Fitzgerald often illustrated his own finical instability in his stories through characters like Amory Blaine, who loses his money because of his own selfishness (Wood). Fitzgerald often used his own upbringing and struggles as a model in his novels.
Fitzgerald’s preoccupation with wealth came to life through his writing. Although this obsession with the respectable side of wealth played a prominent part in his writing, he also "touches on the emotional bankruptcy... that is a result when finical and superficial values solely define the individual" (Wood). In his novel The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald's character Jay Gatsby, a wealthy man, becomes obsessed with winning the love of Daisy Buchanan and throws extravagant and expensive parties to try to encounter her. In the end, Gatsby ends up dying with a tarnished reputation and without the love of Daisy. Fitzgerald also uses "man's obsession with and the need for money, power, knowledge, hope, and love" as a common theme in many of his...

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